Now that Nokia is through with phones, their next move is to high-end 360-degree video. In an effort to reinvent itself, the company is manufacturing the first professional VR camera targeted at media production.
Until now, VR news has primarily been centered on headsets such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. With such a focus on headset hardware, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole world of software and content needed to make VR work. This is where Nokia hopes to find its niche.
Live streaming, 3D audio and video
Nokia’s Ozo is marketed as the go-to solution for VR production. The advanced VR camera tackles many of the problems currently facing VR content creators. The camera’s extensive capabilities include live monitoring, live streaming, 3D audio and video and automatic stitching. For example, users can watch a live playback of content recorded by Ozo on a device such as the Oculus Rift.
Ozo saves quite a bit of time for directors who use existing VR recording solutions, as they currently have to wait for the post-processing to be complete before viewing the final product. The camera also outputs 360-degree 3D video and surround audio through a single cable, making setup much easier.
Nokia’s VR camera is comprised of eight cameras, each of them able to record video clips in 2K x 2K resolution. Sitting next to the cameras are eight microphones, which enable Ozo to record the “sound sphere” of the environment where it is placed. The camera is also fitted with a 500 GB SSD and a powerful battery, giving filmmakers the ability to shoot up to 45 minutes of video footage.
Content is key
Nokia hopes Ozo will be the catalyst for a huge wave of quality VR content to ensure VR isn’t just a passing fad. Guido Voltolina, head of “Presence Capture” at Nokia said, “I think adoption will be driven by what you feed people with. It’s not the device. Let’s assume that tomorrow someone comes up with a great headset that’s £199. It has perfect resolution and everything, but there’s nothing to watch. The real key is when you start seeing content that is really what people want to watch, not an experiment.”
While it comes with a $60,000 pricetag, Ozo isn’t for the average consumer. Although, if things go Nokia’s way, the majority of us will enjoy the fruits of Ozo’s labor when viewing a stunning 360-degree video on our VR headsets.